Thursday, September 10, 2015

California ethnic studies bill heads to the governor's desk

A bill that would require the state superintendent of public instruction to oversee the development of ethnic studies curriculum is headed to the governor's desk.

 Assembly Bill 101, authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, (D-Salinas), passed the Assembly Floor with a bipartisan vote of 61 to 15. The State Senate also approved this bill yesterday with bipartisan support, a 29 to 10 vote. This bill requires the establishment of an ethnic studies advisory committee to adopt a "model curriculum". The State Board of Education  will then adopt this model curriculum, so that schools with grades 7-12, may offer an Ethnic Studies course as a Social Science Elective.

“The passage of AB 101 in the California Legislature will be remembered as a huge victory in the history of Ethnic Studies,”  Alejo said in a prepared statement. “I am excited to have my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly support this significant piece of legislation, further encouraging the Governor to sign this bill and ensure its implementation.”

California has one of the largest and most diverse student populations in the Country, with over 70 percent of the student population being students of color. According to the California Department of Education, after 45 years since the creation of the first Ethnic Studies courses in California, a little more than 8,000 high school students, out of 1.7 million students, have access to an Ethnic Studies course.

Assembly Bill 101 will now be considered for signature by the Governor.

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